The girls and I love to just make things- we went from making basic string bracelets to making bead necklaces and bracelets, and bead crafting for kids isn’t all that difficult with a few small tips to get them going without getting them bored or frustrated.
It starts with the string. Buy a thin elastic string that will tie into a knot easily and not come undone. Crafting necklaces or bracelets with an elastic string is the easiest way to make necklaces and bracelets because they don’t require clasps or doohickeys that frustrate young kids. It’s just a stretchy piece of string that they tie into a knot when they’re done making whatever, no additional pieces needed. Just slip it over the neck or wrist and the homemade jewelry is good to go.
Get beads that are large as a pea, if not larger. Tiny beads pop out of little kids’ hands, and soon they will be throwing the beads across the floor, screaming, “I can’t do it!” To prevent a tantrum, get colorful glass or plastic beads that are large enough to handle, but not so large they are bulky. I love Honk’s Dollar Store for beads, as they have a lot of bright colors in pea-sized beads that the kids can handle easily.
Immediately tie a bead into a knot at the end of the string the kids will be beading, leaving about 1/2 inch of string in excess after the knot. This allows the kids to bead in all their glory without having to watch the beaded end and make sure the beads don’t fall off. The excess string allows for knot tying at the end when the bead work is finished, so you can easily tie into a knot the wonderful necklace or bracelet the kids have accomplished. The knotted bead is the “center” bead, as it sticks out further than the others, giving a centerpiece to their otherwise plain strewn work.
Allow beading to be done on the floor, rather than the kitchen table. If beads go flying, they can only scatter on the carpet, instead of rolling off the table and getting all over the place. We just lie on the living room rug and peacefully make necklaces and bracelets- that is, until the cat attacks our string or the dog walks by and scatters our piles of beads. No bother, simply swipe the hand and gather all the beads back together again.
Bead crafts are fun for kids, and making bracelets or necklaces are a simply way to keeps kids entertained for a few hours, without leaving them bored or frustrated. We have made many a necklace or bracelet that proudly get worn to church and play, and the girls love it. It’s fun for me, too- just to spend time with them doing something quiet, for once.